"Severe nosebleeds"

About: Tameside General Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as a staff member),

This story has been posted by Healthwatch Tameside on behalf of a member of the public who asked not to have their name published. They said…

This lady had severe nosebleeds on 4 occasions, lost a lot of blood and could not stop the bleeding. She went to A & E at Tameside Hospital on each occasion but as the bleeding occurred during the night was sent home in the early hours, with no explanation of why she was bleeding and no treatment or investigation ordered. On the 4th occasion she was sent home at 6. 30am and told she should have gone to Manchester Royal Infirmary as they have an ENT A & E permanently open. She later realised that TGH had an ENT department that opened at 9am, so felt she should have been told this and allowed to wait to see a specialist doctor that day.

She is considering taking her complaint to PALS.

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Response from Lindsay Stewart, Deputy Director of Nursing, Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust

This seems to be a case of poor communications for which A&E must apologise without any hesitation. All patients with nose bleeds that are ‘spontaneous’ (I.e. start for no apparent reason) will be assessed and treated with the aim being to stop the blood flow.

A&E staff are very aware that there is no such thing as a ‘simple’ nose bleed. Loss of blood for no apparent reason is always treated seriously.

However, the main role of A&E is to treat the symptoms and then refer on for further tests to see what any underlying cause might be.

It is virtually certain that on every visit, an A&E doctor or senior nurse would have made a referral to the patient’s own GP to recommend a referral to an Ear Nose and Throat specialist.

Tameside does have an ENT outpatient clinic, but this is on odd days of the week, and I think the nurse would have felt that the patient had a better chance of being seen by a specialist at MRI.

Nevertheless, this is something we should and most certainly do apologise for and nurses have been reminded of the need to ensure excellent communications with patients occur at all times.

Kind regards

John Goodenough

Director of Nursing

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